A few days in the mountains – Part 2

25 Aug

From Arabba, if you choose the other road, you can drive up to the Falzarego Pass.

The Falzarego Pass stands at  2.117 mt of altitude and it mainly connects Andráz and Cortina d’Ampezzo. From the pass, starts also SP24 (Strada provinciale del Passo di Valparola) directed northbound to Val Badia passing below Sas de Stria and through Valparola Pass.The name Falza Rego means false king in ladin and refers to a king of the Fanes, who was supposedly turned to stone for betraying his people.A gondola rises to the Lagazuoi (2762 m.), which was the object of heavy combat in World War I. The tunnel that the Italians built under the Austrian lines is open to the public.The Falzarego Pass is one of the Dolomites mountain passes riders cross in the annual Maratona dles Dolomites single-day bicycle race. As riders proceed directly from the Falzarego Pass to the higher Valparola Pass the Falzarego is not counted as one of the canonical seven Maratona passes.

From here the road leads to one of the most famous place in the Alps, Cortina d’Ampezzo. Located in the heart of the Dolomites in an alpine valley, it is a popular winter sport resort known for its ski-ranges, scenery, accommodations, shops and après-ski scene. After the scheduled 1944 Winter Olympics had been cancelled because of the Second World War, it hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics as well as various world cup events and motion pictures. Much of 1963 classic The Pink Panther, the progenitor of the series, was filmed in Cortina. One of the memorable James Bond stunt sequences in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, gunners on spike-wheeled motorcycles chasing Roger Moore on skis, was filmed on its slopes, as were several scenes in the film Cliffhanger. It is also known for its jet set and aristocratic European crowd. In the Middle Ages, Ampezzo fell under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, and of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1420, the village was conquered by the Republic of Venice. In 1508 it was conquered by Austria, and by 1511 people of Ampezzo swore loyalty to the Emperor Maximilian. Although remaining a Habsburg possession until 1920, aside from being home for an ethnic German-speaking minority, Ampezzo never became a German-speaking territory and conserved its original language, Ladin, a Rhaeto-Romance Language. Until 1918, the town was part of the Austrian monarchy (in Austrian region after the compromise of 1867), head of the district of Ampezzo, one of the 21 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in the Tyrol province.

 When Italy entered the First World War in 1915, most of the male inhabitants were fighting for Austria on the Russian front. Six hundred and sixty-nine (669) male inhabitants (most of them under 16 or over 50) tried to fight the Italian troops. Outnumbered by the Italians, they had to retreat. After the Austrian recovery in 1917, the town was occupied again by the Tyrolese Standschützen. Following Italy’s victory in World War I, Ampezzo was finally given to Italy. After the war the city was renamed “Cortina d’Ampezzo” (Curtain of the Ampezzo Valley), adopting the name of one of the six villages that made up the territory of Ampezzo, located in the middle of the Ampezzo valley. Already an elite destination for the first British tourists in the late 18th century and early twentieth, Cortina d’Ampezzo became a favourite resort for upper-class Italians as well after World War I. After the winter Olympics were held there in 1956, Cortina became a world-renowned resort, experiencing increased mass tourism. Cortina Airport was built for the Games, but is currently closed.

We choose a very bad day to drive up the Sella Pass. However the view and the road were amazing….The Sella Pass (2240 m) is a high mountain pass between the provinces of Trentino and South Tyrol and it connects the Val Gherdena in South Tyrol and Canazei in the Fassa Valley.

(poor hubby under the rain….)

Luckily for us, going down the weather improved a lot and we stopped at a belvedere to admire the valley below….

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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Uncategorized


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